Scores and scorers
The Manawatu Turbos defeated Northland 28-23 to open their NPC campaign, a victory that comes with the extra cherry of being on the road.
Manawatu continued their strong recent record against the Taniwha, even at the end of the first half it would have been difficult to wager a winner.
Another healthy crowd was on hand, but they would have been initially disappointed as the first 35 minutes saw the teams trade five penalty goals.
It was a tight affair where both sides made simple errors, while nerves, perhaps responsible for this, led to the sides playing careful controlled rugby early, rather than the expansive play that was still to come.
Both outfits were looking to move the ball - early days but it seems as if this may be the trend of the competition after seven matches have been played over four days to commence the pride of New Zealand's domestic competition.
At half-time it was 9-6 to Manawatu, with Daniel Hawkins and Matt Wright kicking penalties for the hosts, while the Turbos relied on the boot of Jade Te Rure.
The second half was a different affair.
Whatever the coaches said at halftime worked, the handling and execution seemed to go up a level or three.
* In the other Sunday game in Week One the Tasman Makos signalled their presence in this year's competition with a 35-15 victory over Hawke's Bay.
In absolutely picture perfect conditions in Blenheim, Tasman got off to the perfect start when lock Joe Wheeler crashed over in the opening minute.
Flyhalf Marty Banks, who would kick three penalties in the opening 28 minutes, would keep the scoreboard ticking over for the home team even though they were not able to complete some of their moves to record their second try.
Both sides were playing positive rugby, but Tasman's prowess at the breakdown was giving them the edge in the tight exchanges.
Scorers and scorers:
Northland 23-28 Manawatu
Tries: Nakosi, Takulau
Cons: Hawkins 2
Pens: Hawkins 2, Wright
Tries: Kirikiri, Northcott, Gibbins
Cons: Rure 2
Pens: Rure 3
Tasman 35-15 Hawke's Bay
Tries: Wheeler, Heem, Marshall, Havili
Cons: Banks 3
Pens: Banks 3
Hawke's Bay :
Tries: Fruean, O'Connor